Friday, June 30, 2006

Amazon revisited

You may have noticed a lack of Amazon mentions in recent times. This has not been because I have got over the compulsive checking of e-luv's sales position at least 5 times a day. It's because things got so catastrophic I went into complete denial. At one stage, I was actually relieved that it was number 193,457, because that meant it was in the top 200,000. However, on Thursday morning, something changed in the universe and it has now leapt up to 24,044. Surely the 4 copies I ordered didn't make that much difference? It means that e-luv has now overtaken the likes of Nitrogen Fertilization in the Environment (Books in Soils, Plants & the Environment S.) by Peter Edward Bacon. It has left Finance and Financiers in European History 1880-1960 (Paperback) by Youssef Cassis trailing in its wake. And it has That's Not My Fairy (Touchy-Feely Board Books S.) by F Watt in its sites.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Bernies reading their favourite book

These are my wife's stuffed toys Bernie and Little Bernie reading e-luv. It is a slow news day.

How far is too far?

What would constitute going too far to try and sell more copies of a book?

(a) Infiltrating websites under an assumed name, so you can contribute to forums dealing with topics vaguely related to internet dating and innocently finish by saying you'd just read a great book on the subject?

(b) Joining book discussion groups, purely so you could mention that you'd just read a great one about a bloke who became obsessed with chatrooms?

(c) Contacting newspapers in Bromley ( where you were born and raised ), Oxford ( where you went to live after leaving home), Leeds ( where you worked for two years ) and Manchester ( worked for two years there as well ), telling them all about a local author's new book.

(d) Going into chatrooms under the name Lord Brett Sinclair and when asked about the name, say you got it from a brilliant book you'd just finished.

(e) All of the above.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Infrequently asked questions - part 1.

Since the media are being inexplicably slow in picking up on the genius that is e-luv, I will answer some of the questions which incisive journalists would be asking if they were interviewing me.

Are any of the characters in the book based on real people?

Yes. 4 or 5 of them are people I met online. I did change the names, but that may not be enough to avoid legal action. The book's baddie was certainly real, but I had to make him seem slightly more intelligent, as no-one would believe that anyone could really be so stupid.

How long did it take to write?

I started in 2000, when I wrote the first 20000 words. I sent these to a local publisher who rejected it, saying it was " a little vulgar for our tastes, I'm afraid". After sulking at this for the next five years, I decided to finish it after Friday Project showed an interest.

Was your life really as sad and meaningless as the book suggests?

No, sadder.

Are you going to be writing another book?

Only if this one sells enough to let me pay off my credit card.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

This man is the enemy.

Meet the appallingly-named Bud E-luv. I'm sure he thinks his name is most amusing. BUT I DO NOT LIKE HIM OR HIS NAME. Every time I google e-luv, in order to find gushing praise for my book, what do I get? I'll tell you. Pages and pages about the ironically-moustached lothario you see here talking into his ironic 80s cellphone. Retire NOW, Mr Bud E-luv or face the consequences of my WRATH.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Another interview. And I learnt a new word.

Tonight was the Metro interview - a paper I have learned really IS read by just about everyone who gets a train or tube to work in London. Naturally, I was terrified but Lisa was very nice and chatty, which made it a lot less traumatic than anticipated.
The word I learnt was "subbing-in" Actually, it's more like two words and apparently it means the act of pre-selling books into the shops. Anyway, the reason I know this is that I asked Clare, the Publisher, how sales were going and she said that it had been subbed-in to the shops. I also discovered that e-luv is going to be part of a 3 for 2 promotion at Waterstones and will also be available at all the chains like Ottakers, Borders etc as well as all the indie shops. It's also available at, where it currently occupies the highly prestigious 123,291th position.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

This was almost the cover

Before the much-loved ( by me ) present cover, this was the frontrunner. Maybe it's just as well it didn't see the light of day - according to one reader, Mrs SC of Tooting, no woman would ever buy it with that on the cover. Just about every female I know agrees. Still, I thought it had a certain seedy charm..

Monday, June 19, 2006

The first review. Of sorts.

My parents would be proud. Not only have I written a semi-pornographic book, but I've also got it reviewed in a magazine devoted solely to the enjoyment of illegal drugs. Still, after being described as "lonely, insecure and pathetic", things can surely only get better. By the way, if anyone can tell me whether this is a positive or negative review, can they please let me know?

Sunday, June 18, 2006


See? No more living life by Amazon ratings. I no longer care. Or at least, I wouldn't if I wasn't in a laughable 109,310th place this morning. But help is on its way, with an interview on Wednesday night. It's with Metro, a paper which is apparently read by " just about every London commuter", according to the book's PR person, who would never exaggerate. I should mention that I also had an interview last week, with the delightful Emma from The Big Issue. OK, so it's a review of three Internet dating-themed books in the one article, but she did say that she found e-luv "really funny".

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Things have deteriorated slightly

In just three hours, the book has gone from the edge of success to the depths of failure. It is now 170,936 on Amazon. This has been the worst three hours in the history of e-luv.

Obsessive Amazon checking

Obviously, it would be obsessive behaviour to check your Amazon ranking several times a day. But how else would I find out that e-luv had soared to the previously unscaled heights of 7,663? Which is a vast improvement but not exactly what I was hoping for.I imagine there'll be more obsessive behaviour later, when I give in to the temptation to Google the book's name in a desperate attempt to see if I can find anyone saying something nice about it.

The launch that no-one noticed

e-luv came out today.

This was the expectation:

A burst of activity involving praise from various publications and a rush of buying to match the publisher's previous book of 1000 sales in the first day.

Emails from grateful readers, telling me how much they enjoyed it, having snapped it up as soon as it appeared in the shops.

This was the reality:

Absolutely nothing happened. After frantically checking Amazon all day, it failed to budge from being their 168,049th bestseller. It's hard to imagine that this represents more than a handful of sales.

This could be tougher than I thought. While it's probably too early to think about e-luv being a total flop, I'll be relieved to see some activity. Any activity. I would buy a copy myself, but I can't afford it.